Last week, the kids, Mark and I headed out to see Dick Whittington at the Nottingham Playhouse.
It was their first time seeing panto and they were both completely engaged from the outset, loving every minute and getting well into shouting “Oh, yes it is!” and “She’s behind you!”
The script was funny, sharp and easy to follow, the cast was brilliant, with Sarah the Cook bringing most of the laughs, King Rat delivering villainous drama, while slinky Talula the Cat dazzled with some impressively gymnastic dancing.
The songs, modern hits with a panto twist, were well chosen and well performed. Most songs were up tempo and comical, with plenty of visual gags, but the rendition of Snow Patrol’s Run was actually rather moving.
Do go and see if you can – it runs until 16 Jan and it’s a guaranteed evening of brilliant family fun.
A year of confidence building
It’s been truly moving to see how far our kids have come in the last 12 months. A year ago, there were both happy, balanced kids but they also had some challenges to overcome. JD was the new kid at a new school and Miss J was shy in busy social situations.
This year, we went to see our kids in their Christmas performances – a musical class performance for JD and a nativity play for Miss J. What struck us was that in the course of that year, something amazing had happened. Our children were without doubt the smiliest, most animated kids in each of their performances. They gave us thumbs ups as they walked in, grinned through their shows and had fun with their peers. JD kept in time, J remembered her lines, they did just what they came to do and they had fun doing it.
They’ve really grown up. So much so, in fact, that Miss J actually got a little upset at the panto…because she wasn’t invited on stage! Now that is confidence!
Drynites – our confidence sponsor during 2015 – asked me to look back over the year and think about what we’d done to help build our children’s confidence and what worked best. For us, it’s the same thing we’ve always done: taking time listen, to be there, to show them that whatever they want to talk about – whether it’s My Little Pony or school friendships, Minecraft or the challenges of maths – we’re interested, we’re listening and their voices matter.
Another crucial element in our approach is supporting not driving. I’ve said before that I don’t believe in pushing children, that they’re ready when they’re ready. That goes for everything from toilet training to riding a bike. I see our role as parents as a nurturing one – to love them, protect them, and provide the scaffolding they need to build up their own skills as and when they’re ready.
I know that back when our own kids were toddlers learning to stay dry through the night, that same scaffolding approach was crucial. We supported them, listened to them, encouraged self-confidence and trusted that it would happen in its own time, which it did.
Of course, for some children, nighttime dryness can be a challenge that lasts a little longer than you might expect. In fact, stats show that occasional bedwetting is a perfectly normal part of growing up and affects almost 600,000 children in the UK every year.
Drynites is, of course, all about nighttime confidence. They’re pyjama pants that offer discreet, age-appropriate protection for children to help them feel as grown-up at night as they do during the day.
Extending that philosophy, DryNites is working with kids coach Naomi Richards to help parents inspire confidence in their children both day and night and the DryNites Confident Kids 24/7 campaign aims to provide parents with helpful tools and advice to boost their child’s confidence, which is so crucial in the path to overcoming childhood challenges such as bedwetting.
Do visit www.drynites.co.uk to find out more and get more tips on inspiring confidence in your little ones, day and night.
This is a commissioned post for Drynites